7 Best Movies & Shows Released in 2023 On Tubi Australia

Staff & contributors
Find the best movies and show to watch from the year 2023. These handpicked recommendations are highly-rated by viewers and critics.

Abel Ferrara's protagonists have always searched for higher meaning in a flawed, messed-up world of pain and violence. If 1992's Bad Lieutenant took Harvey Keitel to church for one of American indie cinema's most spectacular endings, Padre Pio doesn't offer such solace. Ferrara (who's been living and working in Rome for years now) teamed up with Italian screenwriter Maurizio Braucci to direct a period piece that brings together the real life of a Catholic Church saint (the titular Padre Pio) and the rise of socialism after WWI. What seems like a straightforward historical approach turns first gruesome and then profound to capture the contradictions at the heart of Italy as a nation. A character study that breaks free of its biographical chains, Padre Pio shows that Ferrara has still got it, 50 films in. 

Genre: Drama

Actor: Asia Argento, Brando Pacitto, Cristina Chiriac, Ignazio Oliva, Luca Lionello, Marco Leonardi, Martina Gatti, Roberta Mattei, Salvatore Ruocco, Shia LaBeouf, Vincenzo Crea

Director: Abel Ferrara

Rating: R

, 2023

More shooting and spectacle than story, Sisu is a stunningly shot and unapologetically gory action film set at the tail end of World War II in Finland. It follows former commando turned prospector Aatami (nicknamed "Koschei" or immortal by the Russians) as he retrieves his stolen gold from the Nazis who've occupied and pillaged the nearby town.  

Not much happens in the way of plot, but what it lacks in that department it more than makes up for in action, which easily matches the likes of John Wick. In fact, Aatami is a kind of John Wick with his undefeatable killer moves and trusty dog pal—a reprieve of cute in a sea of endless carnage. But in the long list of grindhouse movies, Sisu distinguishes itself as astutely patriotic. Of course, it's hard not to root for anyone going against Nazis, but Sisu compels you to its side in subtle but powerful ways. 

You'll be reminded of John Wick, Mad Max, and many a Tarantino film watching Sisu, but you'll be struck by the film's singular hero, a stand-in for a nation unwilling to give up in the face of oppression. 

Genre: Action, Drama, War

Actor: Aamu Milonoff, Aksel Hennie, Arttu Kapulainen, Elina Saarela, Ilkka Koivula, Jack Doolan, Joel Hirvonen, Jorma Tommila, Max Ovaska, Mila Leppälä, Mimosa Willamo, Onni Tommila, Pekka Huotari, Severi Saarinen, Tatu Sinisalo, Vincent Willestrand, Wilhelm Enckell

Director: Jalmari Helander

Rating: R

This Hits Home has an important mission: make the connection between traumatic brain injury and domestic abuse victims more well-known to the public. Every day, wives, girlfriends, and children get their skulls knocked, slammed, and smashed by their abusers, their heads targeted because the injuries are easier to hide and the symptoms of trauma don’t manifest until much later. But despite this prevalent violence, concussions and brain disorders are less associated with domestic abuse than they are in contact sports like wrestling and football. This Hits Home gathers experts and victims alike to change that conversation. It’s a noble effort, but it’s unfortunately masked by weird editing choices that ultimately weaken a strong premise. The film interviews multiple experts in the same field, so it often feels like it’s going in circles instead of propelling forward with new points. In an effort to be comprehensive, it includes commentaries from incidental subjects, which creates a lull that detracts from the main focus. And maybe the biggest fault here is that it relies too much on the survivors’ (admittedly powerful) anecdotes, so much so that it fails to bring any of its own flourishes to the documentary. I appreciate the filmmakers opting to be more straightforward than sensationalist, especially with such a sensitive topic. Still, without its own clear voice and cinematic style, it fails to set itself apart from the many informational videos that are already out there. 

Genre: Documentary

Director: Sydney Scotia

There is a version of Moon Students that solely focuses on the students of color themselves, victims of racial profiling and injustice, instead of their white teacher and his overbearing white guilt. That would’ve been a slightly better movie to watch, but even then, Moon Students seems broken beyond repair. The film is riddled with technical blunders. The timeframe is confusing, the pacing is off, and the dialogue is unrealistic (and unintentionally funny, because what young person actually says, with full sincerity, “You know what time is it? Party time!”). The actors deserve credit for breathing a bit of life into a limp script, and the cinematography can be nice at times—fuzzy and hazy like an LA dream. But the film’s misguided sense of justice ultimately brings it down.

Genre: Drama

Actor: B.A. Tobin, Cedrick Terrell, Eddie Navarro, Nicholas Heard, Nicholas Thurkettle, Sydney Carvill

Director: Daniel Holland

, 2023

You should know from the get-go that Cocoa is a wild farce that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and neither should you. The mafia, a wild scientist, and a giant clumsy dog somehow weave themselves into what initially seems to be just a story of two sisters selling pastries and bonding along the way. It goes in for multiple twists and turns, which on paper, sounds like a fun ride, but shoddy production value can only get you so far. After a few chuckles, the poor direction, elementary acting, and stilted editing all catch up on you, and Cocoa soon becomes the kind of movie you have to sit through and endure rather than breeze through. It’s great to put on if you have undiscerning kids around, but otherwise, this TV movie just doesn’t cut it. 

Genre: Comedy

Actor: Cedric Gegel, Jody Mortara, Megan McGarvey, Siena D'Addario, Tony Cucci

Director: Jody Mortara, Joe Gawalis

After his brother's gruesome death at the infamous drug den, Trap House, Detective Grant Pierce is removed from the case to find its creator. He goes rogue and recruits a teenage drug dealer working for the Trap House with a plan to infiltrate. Whatever the film lacks in intrigue is not compensated by good writing or interesting traps/scares/twists that would befit its horror categorization. Even expectations to match its counterparts in the escape room genre are quickly lowered thanks to uninventive traps and shallow characters whose deaths weigh nothing in the grand scheme of the plot. The potential of a trap house horror/thriller to comment on addiction, race, poverty, or anything substantial outside of "crackheads are crazy" is ultimately wasted. Instead, there's stilted dialogue, caricatures of drug addicts, and a narrative that is hard to sit through, much less enjoy. 

 

Genre: Crime, Horror, Thriller

Actor: Anthony Timpano, Benjamin Wilkinson, Bruce Crawford, Fletcher Donovan, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Jaime M. Callica, Jason Tremblay, Peter Bundic, Ryan Mah

Director: Nicholas Humphries

, 2023

I appreciate what Famous, the movie, tries to do with its small budget. To portray the wealthy and luxurious life Famous, the character, supposedly leads, the movie opts for clean minimalist designs and tasteful close-ups that don’t betray the scruffy studio it’s actually set in. And the music, produced by Friyie, provides a nice ambiance to Famous and Wayne’s fraught relationship. But those are the only good things you could say about this film; everything else is a flat-out mess. The story feels limp, the acting forced, the dialogue loaded with exposition, and the overall execution clunky. Also, tell me why doesn’t Famous rap even once in a movie centered around him? We’re constantly told that Famous is a celebrated rapper, but not once are we made privy to his skills. What was the reason? This choice, like pretty much everything about the movie, is just baffling.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Brendan Jeffers, Farid Yazdani, Jas Dhanda, Lovina Yavari, Patrick Kwok-Choon

Director: Martha McGrath